8th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1936)

  • Date of Ceremony: Thursday, March 5, 1936
  • For films released in: 1935
  • Host(s): Frank Capra
Other years:

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On March 5, 1936, the 8th Annual Academy Awards were presented at the Biltmore Hotel in a ceremony presided over by Frank Capra, a man who had been embarrassed at the sixth ceremony and greatly rewarded at the seventh.

The Outstanding Production statuette went to MGM’s Mutiny on the Bounty but the night was really remembered for a couple of firsts.

Cinematographer Hal Mohr became the Oscar’s first, and only, write-in winner, taking home the Best Cinematography Oscar for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Writer Dudley Nichols became the first person to decline an Academy Award. He decided not to accept his Best Writing (Screenplay) award for The Informer, saying he was taking a stand due to differences occurring between the Academy and the unions. According to AMPAS records, Nichols did eventually take home the statuette some time before 1949.


Outstanding Production

  • Mutiny on the Bounty

Best Directing

  • The Informer
    John Ford

Best Actor

  • The Informer
    Victor McLaglen

Best Actress

  • Dangerous
    Bette Davis

Best Art Direction

  • The Dark Angel
    Richard Day

Best Assistant Director

  • The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
    Clem Beauchamp and Paul Wing

Best Cinematography

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
    Hal Mohr
    Note: Mr. Mohr was not an official nomination. He was a write-in candidate and remains the only person to have won an Oscar without being nominated for it.

Best Dance Direction

  • Broadway Melody of 1936
    David Gould ["I've Got a Feeling You're Fooling" number]
  • Folies Bergere
    David Gould ["Straw Hat" number]

Best Film Editing

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
    Ralph Dawson

Best Music (Scoring)

  • The Informer
    RKO Radio Studio Music Department, Max Steiner [head of department] and Max Steiner [Score by]

Best Music (Song)

  • Gold Diggers of 1935 "Lullaby of Broadway"
    Harry Warren [Music by] and Al Dubin [Lyrics by]

Best Short Subject (Cartoon)

  • Three Orphan Kittens
    Walt Disney

Best Short Subject (Comedy)

  • How to Sleep
    Jack Chertok

Best Short Subject (Novelty)

  • Wings over Mt. Everest
    Gaumont British and Skibo Productions

Best Sound Recording

  • Naughty Marietta
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department and Douglas Shearer [Sound Director]

Best Writing (Screenplay)

  • The Informer
    Dudley Nichols

Best Writing (Original Story)

  • The Scoundrel
    Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur

Special Award

  • David Wark Griffith
    Note: …for his distinguished creative achievements as director and producer and his invaluable initiative and lasting contributions to the progress of the motion picture arts.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class II)

  • AGFA Ansco Corporation
    Note: …for their development of the Agfa infra-red film.
  • Eastman Kodak Company
    Note: …for their development of the Eastman Pola-Screen.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class III)

  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio
    Note: … for the development of anti-directional negative and positive development by means of jet turbulation, and the application of the method to all negative and print processing of the entire product of a major producing company.
  • William A. Mueller [Warner Bros.-First National Studio Sound Department]
    Note: …for his method of dubbing, in which the level of the dialogue automatically controls the level of the accompanying music and sound effects.
  • Mole-Richardson Company
    Note: …for their development of the "Solar-spot" spot lamps.
  • Douglas Shearer and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department
    Note: …for their automatic control system for cameras and sound recording machines and auxiliary stage equipment.
  • Electrical Research Products Inc.
    Note: …for their study and development of equipment to analyze and measure flutter resulting from the travel of the film through the mechanisms used in the recording and reproduction of sound.
  • Paramount Productions Inc.
    Note: …for the design and construction of the Paramount transparency air turbine developing machine.
  • Nathan Levinson [Director of Sound Recording for Warner Bros.-First National Studio]
    Note: …for the method of intercutting variable density and variable area sound tracks to secure an increase in the effective volume range of sound recorded for motion pictures.
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